Take A Photo Of Solar Eclipse

By | 07/11/2022

When the moon passes directly betwixt Earth and the sun, those on Earth are treated to one of nature’s greatest spectacles—a total solar eclipse. It is a phenomenon that nearly every observer would similar to capture in a photograph.

Due to the rarity of the issue, the short duration in which to capture information technology, and the dynamic nature of the subject, it is i of those photographic opportunities that requires the proper gear, setup, planning, and practice.

In a higher place photo © Todd Vorenkamp

I cannot emphasize the previous sentence plenty. Plan your eclipse photography, have the right gear, and practice, practice, practice on the non-eclipsed dominicus before the big event.

Condom Kickoff

Practise NOT look at the sun with your naked eyes.
Permanent damage to your eyesight, and fifty-fifty blindness, may result.
ALWAYS wear certified solar viewing spectacles when viewing the sun before, during, and after an eclipse. We have all glanced at the sun, but prolonged exposure causes permanent harm. During an eclipse, when the moon covers a portion of the sun, the intensity of the light remains constant. The ONLY time information technology is safe to look toward the sunday with the naked eye is during the brief period of totality at the height of a total eclipse of the sun.

Practice Not point a camera at the sun unless the optics are fitted with a certified solar filter. Eyes tin magnify the intensity and brightness of sunlight, and this tin can crusade damage to your equipment.

DO NOT look through the viewfinder of an unfiltered SLR camera when it is pointed at or nearly the sun considering of the increase in intensity and brightness of the sunlight passing through magnifying optics.

Exercise NOT expect through the viewfinder of a rangefinder camera when it is pointed at or nearly the lord’s day, as the optical viewfinder volition non protect your eyes from the sun’due south damaging light.

DO Non signal an unfiltered digital photographic camera at the lord’s day and use live view or an electronic viewfinder, due to the possibility of focusing full-bodied, unfiltered sunlight at your camera’s sensor.

A partial solar eclipse breaks through the clouds over San Diego. ©Todd Vorenkamp

A partial solar eclipse breaks through the clouds over San Diego.Todd Vorenkamp

Enjoyment 2d

A solar eclipse is non an everyday effect. Some people will go their unabridged lives without witnessing one. Some will travel far and wide to try to encounter one or more in a lifetime—especially for rare full solar eclipses.

So, what you DO Not desire to exercise is spend an unabridged eclipse consequence messing around with your camera gear or viewing it entirely through a photographic camera’s viewfinder or on an LCD screen.

LOOK at the eclipse. Enjoy information technology with your own (protected) eyes. Equally amazing as it would be to get a keen photo, I promise you that you will have a lifetime of regrets if you miss the whole show because you lot are hyper-focused on photographing the event.

I have friends who have viewed eclipses
through a camera viewfinder and I feel deplorable for them. The one fourth dimension I was present for a total solar eclipse, my best views and experience, by far, were in viewing totality through a pair of unfiltered premium 8×42 birding binoculars. In that location was a gem-similar surrealness to the view that was definitely not present in my images, or on my digital viewfinder. I am so glad that I took myself away from the camera to see the eclipse with my own magnified eyes. The next time I am at a full solar eclipse, I plan to spend more time with the binoculars.

Be present!

At present that we have that stuff out of the manner, let’s look at how to get the shot!

Diamond-ring effect

Diamond-ring outcomeTodd Vorenkamp

Basic Gear

1. Eclipse spectacles. You’ll need these for a couple of reasons. a) You’ll want to view the eclipse with your ain eyes and, b) you’ll need them to better aim your camera at the lord’s day.

Solar viewing glasses

Solar viewing glasses

2. Camera. You practise not demand a professional DSLR camera to photograph the eclipse. In fact, whatever photographic camera will do, depending on how yous want to capture the event. You merely need to accept the proper precautions to protect the photographic camera (and your eyes).

Digital camera

Digital camera

3. Tripod. The sun is across bright, so, when photographing the partial phases of an eclipse, you don’t technically need a camera support to avoid camera shake, because your shutter speeds will be very brusk. However, during totality, the sun is blocked out, which basically means that you lot are photographing in darkness. Here is some further reading on gear needed for night photography, to fully set you for these atmospheric condition. Also, since the eclipse happens over a stretch of time, you may not desire to be holding a heavy camera rig for minutes or hours at a time.



iv. Remote shutter release. When it gets dark, your shutter speeds volition autumn and yous’ll want to trigger your photographic camera remotely with a cable release, electronic release, or mobile device to prevent camera shake and blurring of your images.

Shutter Remote control

Shutter remote control

Gear: Solar Filters

When photographing the sunday, you volition need a solar filter for your photographic camera and lens. The But time the filter is not needed is when the sun is completely obscured by the moon during the totality portion of a full solar eclipse.

Solar filter

Solar filter

Several online tutorials mention using a neutral density filter or stacking neutral density (ND) filters. I But recommend using a properly designated solar filter. I am not solitary in this recommendation. Experts at NASA, the National Science Foundation, the American Astronomical Society, Nikon, Infinite.com,
Sky & Telescope
magazine, and others all recommend solar filters instead of neutral density filters. Why? Because these are the but filters designed specifically for viewing the sun, and they are constructed to not only sufficiently dim the sunlight, only they also protect your eyes and equipment from non-visible IR and UV radiation. Solar photography is NOT the time to experiment with bootleg filtration concoctions, like stacking polarizers and ND filters, in an effort to save a few bucks.

A solar filter on the front of a Nikon 300mm f/4 lens

A solar filter on the front of a Nikon 300mm f/four lensTodd Vorenkamp

There are some ND filters out there marketed for solar photography. If you are looking for this type of filter, it looks similar the consensus amongst brands is that 16-stops is the minimum force for a filter. In comparing dissimilar brands, in that location was a dramatic difference betwixt the light transmission of one brand’south 16.5-stop filter and a competing make. This concerns me a bit. Use at your own risk!

Practice NOT apply these ND filters with an optical viewfinder! Many come with fine-print on their packaging, then use due diligence and stick to using your Live View fashion or an electronic viewfinder. Your safest option is a solar filter, but the optical glass ND filter may take other uses as well solar photography.

When information technology comes to solar filters, yous have several options: filter sheet, screw-on front filter, or a solar filter that mounts between the camera and lens on an interchangeable-lens setup.

Filter Sheet
 Mylar white-light solar filters come up in dissimilar shapes and sizes. Some are circular and accept tether holes to secure to your camera and/or lens. Many veteran observers as well use sheets of #14 Welder’s Glass, which they mount or hold in front end of the camera.

A Mylar filter on the front of a Leica APO Televid 77 spotting scope

A Mylar filter on the front end of a Leica APO Televid 77 spotting scopeTodd Vorenkamp

Screw-On Filter These white-light filters thread on your camera lens but like a standard threaded filter. However, they are designed for solar observing. Some are made of Mylar moving-picture show inside of a filter band, and others are fabricated from optical glass. Pay attention to the fine print; some optical filter brands country that yous should not look through an optical viewfinder or eyepiece while using them—they are for electronic viewfinders or LCD screens only.

If a screw-on filter does not accept the right diameter for your chosen lens, you can simply use a stride-upwards ring and adapt the larger filter to your smaller lens.

Step-up ring

Step-up ring

The color of the sun in your images is dependent on the type of white-light solar filter used. Metal-coated drinking glass and black polymer filters effect in a yellow or orange tint. Aluminized Mylar filters evidence a bluish sun. #14 Welder’south Glass creates a greenish image.

Intermediate Filter Intermediate filters are designed for solar imaging. They mount betwixt your lens and your camera. The pattern of the optics filters out dissimilar wavelengths of calorie-free, assuasive you to see detail on the surface of the lord’s day that is not visible with standard white-light solar filters.

Regardless of the filter system you apply, take care to ensure the filter does not accidently come up off your rig while photographing the sun.

Restated to emphasize: Filters are needed at
all times
for solar viewing, except during the height of a full solar eclipse. So, when photographing the dominicus during totality, y’all should remove your filters. More on this afterwards.

The corona of the sun and a nearby star. © Todd Vorenkamp

The corona of the sun and a nearby starTodd Vorenkamp

Gear: Lenses and Focal Length

When we recollect of the midday sun overhead, nosotros envision information technology filling the sky with vivid calorie-free. The truth is that even though the sun is 864,000 miles wide (109 times the size of World), the fact that information technology is approximately 93 million miles away means that information technology appears to be most the same size as the Moon in our skies. Don’t believe me? Just expect at a solar eclipse to run across how the moon, when it is at or near its closest approach to World (perigee), blocks out the entire sun. (When the moon is farther from Earth (apogee), the issue is a partial blockage of the sun during what is called an
solar eclipse.)

What this means is that, with a wide-angle lens, the sun is very small in your frame. With a standard-length telephoto lens, the sun is slightly larger, but non frame-filling. To fill your viewfinder, you will probable demand to go well by a 300mm focal length lens.

During the full eclipse of the sun, when the umbral shadow passes over the observer, the sun’s corona, usually invisible to the naked eye, is suddenly visible and it extends well abroad from the surface of the sun. So, an extreme telephoto lens may crusade you lot to crop out significant portions of the corona. Keep this in mind when selecting a lens for an eclipse paradigm. A focal length between 500mm and 1000mm will allow you to capture nigh of the corona while keeping the dominicus a expert size in the frame.

Do some research online by looking at the thousands of images of solar eclipses available on photo sites. Many take information on the gear used to capture a detail image, including camera type, lens focal length, and exposure settings.

Eclipse composite

Eclipse blendedTodd Vorenkamp

A pop approach is to capture the many phases of the eclipse and some scenic foreground item with a standard focal length lens or a standard telephoto. Yous do not take to get out and buy an extreme telephoto to capture a cute image of a solar eclipse, but if y’all are looking for a telephoto lens on a budget that reaches further than your trusty kit lenses, consider the relatively inexpensive catadioptric mirror lens for solar viewing. These lenses are small-scale, light, and hands portable.

Gear: Digiscoping

Digiscoping is a popular style to photograph the sun and solar eclipses. Many telescopes and spotting scopes allow cameras to be affixed to the scopes via adapters. Additionally, you lot tin just hold a mobile device camera or point-and-shoot to the eyepiece of a scope or binoculars for casual digiscoping. The advantage of digiscoping is that, like with a mirror lens, you tin accomplish high levels of magnification without much of the expense of an exotic photographic telephoto lens.

Spotting Scope

Spotting scope

Unless you are digiscoping through a dedicated solar viewing telescope, you lot must use a solar filter for imaging the sunday. Some spotting scopes or telescopes have threaded front openings that allow the attachment of screw-in filters, and others accept solar-viewing eyepieces. If your telescopic isn’t threaded, you can comprehend the objective lens with a filter canvass
(described to a higher place).

Digiscoping the sun with a Leica APO Televid 77 spotting scope, eyepiece adapter, and Fujifilm X-T2 camera

Digiscoping the sun with a Leica APO Televid 77 spotting scope, eyepiece adapter, and FUJIFILM Ten-T2 cameraTodd Vorenkamp

Camera Settings: Aperture, Shutter Speed, ISO…and Bracket!

During the progression from direct sunlight to the height of a full solar eclipse, the light volition speedily change from broad daylight to twilight-like darkness. For the photographer, this is a blessing and a curse. The light really will not change dramatically until the eclipse approaches totality, so your camera settings can be static for a huge portion of the event—a good matter. The curse is that, when the eclipse bear witness is at its most exciting, the low-cal will exist changing chop-chop, and you must be ready to suit. Bummer!

The view on the LCD screen of the Fujifilm camera and a 1500mm-equivalent Leica APO Televid 77 spotting scope

The view on the LCD screen of the FUJIFILM camera and a 1500mm-equivalent Leica APO Televid 77 spotting scopeTodd Vorenkamp

Luckily for all of us, eclipse photographers have given us some great exposure guidelines on which to base our settings, and then we can efficiently prepare for the show.

When the eclipse reaches totality and you have removed your solar filter from your photographic camera, this is the time to beginning bracketing your shots heavily. Use the exposure guide every bit just that, a guide. Bracket, bracket, and bracket some more. According to experts, at that place is a vast 12-finish dynamic range from the corona at the sun’s surface to the outer edges of the corona. Shoot a ton of shots at different exposures. When you post-process later, you tin can choose the one that looks all-time. Merely, during this rarest of events, exercise not merely lock into i exposure and take a bunch of as exposed images.

My favorite solar eclipse photo ever © Todd Vorenkamp

My favorite solar eclipse photo everTodd Vorenkamp

When it comes to ISO, y’all should ready your camera to its native ISO—the lowest un-boosted ISO setting. Research the Spider web for your make and model and the native ISO of your detail camera.



Aperture (f/finish)

f/2.8 f/4 f/5.6 f/8 f/11

Shutter Speed

Outer Corona
ane/4 1/2 1 sec. 2 sec. 4 sec.

Mid Corona
ane/30th 1/15th 1/eightth 1/four i/2

Inner Corona
1/1000th 1/500thursday one/250thursday 1/125thursday ane/sixtyth

Diamond Ring
1/gth 1/500th ane/250th 1/125th 1/lxthursday

Baily’southward Beads
—- one/32,000thursday 1/sixteen,000thursday 1/8000thursday ane/4000th

1/16,000th 1/8000th 1/4000th 1/2000thursday ane/1000th

Here are some boosted settings to consider for your eclipse photographs.

1. DO Not USE A Wink. When the sun is out, the wink is useless. When the sun is obscured and all is night, your flash will not illuminate the dark side of the moon, but it will annoy those effectually you lot trying to savour the spectacle. Too, by popping a flash, y’all volition prove to everyone present that you don’t read this blog and, therefore, have no idea what y’all are doing with your camera.

2. Stock up on retention cards and shoot raw files. Have sufficient memory to handle a lot of raw images if you choose to lie down on the shutter release.

3. Apply mirror lock-up on an SLR photographic camera to minimize vibration.

iv. Don’t be afraid to underexpose by a stop or ii, or more than. Avert diddled-out highlights. Use the highlight “blinkies” if your camera has them.

5. Accept an occasional glance at your histogram to verify exposure.

6. Use live view or an electronic viewfinder for the “what you come across is what you go” advantage. It is too safer for your eyes to Not exist looking through an optical finder if you ignored my communication about securely mounting a filter.

Limerick Tips

If yous are photographing the sun (and the eclipsing new moon) every bit the merely bailiwick in your image, you tin certainly heart the dominicus in the frame. But, feel gratis to position your subject using the rule of thirds, or place it somewhere else in the frame for potentially dramatic effects or a unique wait.

You don’t have to center the sun in the frame.

You don’t have to center the sun in the frame.Todd Vorenkamp

If y’all are shooting a broad-angle image and want to include some foreground item, be sure that whatever y’all include in the foreground will not block the path of the sun, and exist conscientious non to allow that scenery dominate the scene—the dramatic display of this rare result will focus all attention on the solar eclipse. Also, with a solar filter in place, the foreground scenery will not bear witness up in a photo, so you will probable need to make multiple exposures.

Corona and a diamond

Corona and a diamondTodd Vorenkamp

Shooting the Eclipse: Telephoto Lens

Of course, you tin just wait for totality, point your camera at the sun and moon, and snap a photo, but you will likely want to capture all the wonderful phases of the solar eclipse. This means y’all volition need to rail the dominicus across the heaven for a few hours, and keep shooting every bit the eclipse moves toward totality and then back toward a full sun on the other side.

This is where planning comes in. How many photos practise you desire to take? Should you divide the eclipse upwards into equal parts past time and capture, for instance, one prototype every six minutes earlier and afterward totality? Many photographers put together beautiful montages showing the progression of the eclipse through its entire cycle. If you are planning on a montage or image series, you volition desire a solid game plan going into the event. For those planning multiple exposures, know that the Globe’s rotation causes the sun to move the distance of ane solar diameter through the sky approximately every ii minutes.

Also, y’all accept to track the sun beyond the sky—either manually by hand or on a tripod, or with an electronic tracking telescope mount. Ane reward of the mount is that, if used correctly, the sun will remain at a constant position through your frames and you will not have to work to manually track the issue.

Here is the standard progression:

1. The eclipse approaches, you lot attach the solar filter to your lens and get-go by shooting the full dominicus, and then proceed to shoot as the moon intercepts the sun’s light.

2. Once the sun is totally obscured, y’all must then remove your filtration and photograph totality without a filter—capturing the awe-inspiring sight. The starting time of totality is indicated by the famous “diamond ring” effect. During totality, you lot can remove your solar filtration (and solar glasses). The diamond rings should be photographed and can be viewed without filtration.

3. At the cease of totality, when the second diamond ring appears, supervene upon your filters and continue to shoot every bit the moon slides clear of the sun.

This wide-angle shot was captured with a 12mm lens on my FUJFILM X-T1. © Todd Vorenkamp

This wide-angle shot was captured with a 12mm lens on my FUJIFILM 10-T1.Todd Vorenkamp

Shooting the Eclipse: Wide(r) Angle View

The do good of using a normal focal length lens or a non-super telephoto is the power to include some surrounding scenery in the foreground of your eclipse image(southward). This is especially cool if yous are shooting the sun earlier a spectacular mountain range, rock formation, human-made landmark, something else visually complimentary, or something that provides a sense of location.

The progression volition be the same every bit above, but you will also accept to capture images that are exposed for your foreground as, during totality, all will be dark.

Again, inquiry is the fundamental hither. No two scenes will be exactly alike as far equally lighting, composition, and the position of the eclipse are concerned. Many photographers shoot with two cameras (or more) during an eclipse, to capture the celestial show from dissimilar perspectives and to improve their chances of getting a memorable image, or series of images.

Shooting the Eclipse: Projection Viewing/Imaging

There are many ways you can create a pinhole camera obscura to project an paradigm of the eclipse on a secondary surface. This can be done using optics like a telescope or binoculars, or it can be done merely by putting a small hole in the heart of a piece of construction newspaper.

Lite passes through the “lens” and a monochrome image of the eclipse will appear on your surface. This camera obscura epitome can be photographed past any camera, even a mobile phone camera, without any filtration.

First contact

“First contact”Todd Vorenkamp

A Bakery’s Dozen General Tips

1. See
“Safety Outset,”

2. See
in a higher place.


Bring extra
batteries. Accuse them the night before and bring at least 1 more than than you think you need. How awful would it be to run out of power only before the show?

Bring extra retentivity
for the aforementioned reason. Pack a secret memory card in your bag that you can reach for if you took mode more than photos than you planned.

6. If yous practise not have an accurate infinity difficult stop on your lens,
your photographic camera and lens at infinity and lock the focus or use gaffer tape to keep it from changing, if you lot can.

7. For goodness sake, again,
Do NOT use a flash!

your solar photography days, weeks, months earlier the actual eclipse.
Practice, practice, practice.

Scout your location
a solar day or two in advance to come across the path the sun volition take across the sky on the twenty-four hours of the eclipse.

x. Make a
of the gear you lot demand. Check it twice.

to anyone (or annihilation) you call back can help for clear skies during the eclipse.

12. See
on this list.

13. See
on this list. Read it twice.
ENJOY THE Bear witness!Seriously, put the camera aside and look at the eclipse with your ain optics—or better notwithstanding, through binoculars. You’ll give thanks me later on. I promise.

What are your tips and techniques for capturing a solar eclipse? Share them with united states of america and our readers in the Comments section, below!

“Last contact” © Todd Vorenkamp

“Last contact”Todd Vorenkamp

Here is my $0.02 on sharpness of solar, astronomical, and lunar images:

The sun is a mean distance of approximately 93 million miles away and the moon is a mean distance of 238,855 miles away. Neither the moon’south cratered surface nor the sun’southward explosive surface make them perfectly smooth spheres.

When I pixel-split up my solar images, be information technology the ones captured with a sharp Nikon 300mm f/4, a sharp Leica APO-Televid 77 spotting scope, or whatever other optic, regardless of whether I am using a glass or metal-type solar filter, the dominicus is only, at its best, “kind of” sharp.

The same applies to images of the moon. I get sharp images, simply never as precipitous as I really, really desire to get.

This got me thinking.

When you photograph something outside of our atmosphere, at that place is a off-white corporeality of air between y’all and the subject. The thickness of Earth’s atmosphere is approximately 300 miles, with most of the dense air in the lower altitudes (evidently). Light is transmitted from the sun (or stars) or reflected from the moon (and planets) and it travels through the vacuum of space until it reaches earth. Once it arrives in the atmosphere, all your sharpness bets are off.

If you took a photo of a building, mountain, or person miles and miles abroad, especially on a hazy solar day, y’all probably wouldn’t actually expect a super-abrupt image, right? Now, think about an image of something captured on the far side of dozens of miles of air. Abrupt? Probably not.

So, if y’all are wondering what lens or filter is the sharpest to photograph distant things, or if you are wondering why your lunar craters or sunspots are non tack-sharp, even though you spent a ton of money on a super-sharp lens, just be grateful that world has a protective shield around it that gives usa air to breath and protects us from the harshness of outer space. And, besides retrieve that there is a reason they endeavour to put telescopes in dry places at high altitudes—or in orbit above the temper!

Source: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/explora/photography/tips-and-solutions/how-photograph-solar-eclipse